Major endorsements flow into St. Louis mayoral race
Krewson falls slightly, but still on top, in latest poll
Alderwoman Lyda Krewson still reigns supreme in the latest poll from The Missouri Times and Remington Research Group. She fell one point from last week to 33 percent, which still puts her well ahead of the rest of the three major candidates. St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones (13 percent) fell back to fourth place behind Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed (17 percent) and Alderman Antonio French (15 percent). Jones had risen past those two in last week’s poll.
Respondents also stated overwhelmingly they would support a half-cent sales tax increase to fund Metrolink expansion in the city 52 percent to 32 percent.
The margin of error for the poll was +/- 3.2 percent.
But the real story in the mayoral race this week were the major endorsements that came in for various candidates. Krewson and Jones have swung some of the highest-profile individual endorsers. Incumbent St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay endorsed Krewson and former Secretary of State Jason Kander endorsed Jones earlier this month, but Reed this week received the endorsement of Congressman Lacy Clay, who represents the St. Louis area.
“Lewis Reed is the only candidate for mayor that will bring real economic development to our city,” Clay said in a short statement Tuesday. “He will increase job growth and decrease our crime rate. We need Reed as our next mayor.”
Reed was also endorsed by the local American Federation of Teachers union.
The major get for the French campaign was the endorsement of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“French, 39, stands out by far among the top tier of candidates for the energy and leadership qualities St. Louisans should demand in their next mayor,” the board wrote. “What most impresses us is French’s clarity of vision and ability to articulate exactly how he would use the mayor’s office to make much-needed improvements, particularly in minority-dominated, low-income parts of the city that have gone neglected for far too long. On that score, his goals and ours are the same.”
Former St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced she would support French as well.
— St. Louis American (@StLouisAmerican) February 23, 2017
Ryan Hawkins, the manager of French’s campaign, said the Post-Dispatch’s endorsement (made Sunday) has led to an uptick energy and funds for the campaign, receiving a spurt of 300 donations since the Post-Dispatch announced it.
However, Krewson and Jones are both confident in the support they have received. Both of them have pages on their campaign websites filled with endorsements (you can see Jones’ here and Krewson’s here). Jones has attracted many progressives and progressive organizations to her campaign, like Mobilize Missouri, the Young Democrats, and NARAL Pro Choice Missouri. Even national progressive groups like Democracy for America and MoveOn.Org have come out in support of Jones’ campaign. Many elected officials, including Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, have also backed her campaign.
“We’re very grateful to have all of the endorsements,” Jones campaign spokesperson Anne Schweitzer told The Missouri Times. “You can tell a lot about a person from the people they surround themselves with. All of these endorsements coming in for Tishaura says a lot about who Tishaura is and the people who believe in her.”
Jones also received the endorsement of the St. Louis American, the city’s eminent African-American media publication.
“St. Louis desperately needs to change – and has the potential to do so. While the city has fiscal problems, it also has the ingredients to foster greater economic revival,” their board wrote. “Jones is being resisted by those who fear her demonstrated leadership and management skills and fearless determination to bring innovative, progressive, pro-growth policies and leadership to City Hall. Only Tishaura O. Jones can win this election and bring St. Louis the change it desperately needs.”
On the other hand, Crewson has mostly been bolstered by traditional Democratic allies like unions, including the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association, the Ironworkers, and the Carpenters District Council. Like Jones, she also enjoys support from many ward organizations and elected officials.
“I’m honored to have the endorsement and support of so many elected officials and ward organizations from every part of the city,” said Krewson.
Hawkins said they felt confident even though their list of endorsees was shorter than Krewson and Jones.
“The old school status quo way is to run around and try to get as many of the wards to endorse you,” Hawkins said. “We’ve gone directly to voters in St. Louis City and social media. We’ve had conversations left and right and I think you see certain candidates with a ton more endorsements than we do and we’re right in the mix.